News and Notes: enRoute film festival, CityPASS in NYC and Stars coming to Jasper

It’s time to comb through my inbox to find the most interesting news and releases. Here are the items that I wanted to share.

Air Canada enRoute Film Festival celebrates 10th Anniversary

The Air Canada enRoute Film Festival will showcase emerging Canadian short film talent on Air Canada flights around the world from August 1 to December 31, 2016.

The 20 selected shorts will be announced at a free outdoor public screening at Robson Square in downtown Vancouver on Wednesday, July 20 at 8:00 p.m. with the screening starting at sundown.

The selected short films will be available to millions of Air Canada passengers on their personal seatback in-flight entertainment system and online at

Passengers and movie lovers alike will have the chance to vote for their favourite film to win the People’s Choice Award. Voting will start in August on and run to October 31, 2016.


CityPASS lets people discover New York attractions for less

CityPASS announces New York C3, a new product that allows users to select any three of New York City’s top attractions at one low price using a mobile pass.

Designed for shorter-stay visitors, New York C3 offers CityPASS’ same signature savings and opportunities to skip most ticket lines. Users can select three attractions from this curated list of 10 must-see sights:

  • The Empire State Building Experience
  • Top of the Rock Observation Deck
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • Hornblower Sightseeing Cruises

New York C3 is accessible as a mobile pass on users’ smartphones, allowing users to select attractions as they go instead of choosing preferred experiences at the time of purchase.

New York C3 is available for purchase exclusively through The price is $71 US for adults and $51 for children (ages 4-12,) offering savings up to 25 percent off the cost of individual admission tickets. Each pass is valid for nine consecutive days, starting the first day of use.

See the stars under the stars at Jasper’s 2016 Dark Sky Festival

World-renowned scientist and educator, Bill Nye will be a keynote speaker at the 2016 Dark Sky Festival presented by Rocky Mountaineer.

Running October 14 – 23, this year’s Jasper Dark Sky Festival will feature two separate days with Bill Nye: an adults-only engagement and VIP event on Friday, October 14 and a family-friendly afternoon on Saturday, October 15.

Also joining this year’s line-up is actor, social justice activist and social media powerhouse, George Takei.

Best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek, Takei will appear at the festival on the night of Friday October 21.

Tickets go on sale Monday, July 4 at

Cruise Canada’s Arctic with award-winning filmmakers

Award-winning wildlife filmmakers, Neil Nightingale and Karen Bass, will be special guests on One Ocean Expeditions’ 12-night Baffin Island – Jewel of the High Arctic cruise, departing on August 1, 2016.

While Head of The BBC’s Natural History Unit Neil oversaw an immense number of successful TV series including LifePlanet EarthBig Cat LiveFrozen PlanetDeadly 60 and Springwatch.  He also directed the recent theatrical films, Walking With Dinosaurs and Wild Africa.

Karen is a television director and producer with a passion for travel and natural history who, during 30 years with the BBC’s Natural History Unit and National Geographic, has made wildlife films in almost every corner of the Earth.

Together they, and other on-board experts, will regale passengers with fascinating tales of their many interesting travel experiences, answer questions and educate with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history of Baffin Island and the Canadian Arctic.

Prices start from $7,995 U.S. per person, based on triple share and include travel on a special charter flight from Ottawa to Iqaluit, all meals on board the ship and excursions as outlined, plus a charter flight from Resolute to Edmonton at the end of the voyage.

For further information, visit 

Air Transat gets high marks in Quebec

The Protégez-Vous customer satisfaction survey, which ranked companies according to their customer service, placed Air Transat in the “above-average satisfaction” group, third after Porter and KLM.

Airlines were evaluated on various criteria, such as the importance given to clients, staff courteousness, product and service knowledge, timely and efficient service, problem-solving skills, prices, product or service quality, and the overall satisfaction of consumers.

Between March 7 and 28, 2016, more than 3,000 people participated in the customer service survey at, the Protégez-Vous consumer community. To see the survey, visit

News and Notes: A waterproof e-reader, Arctic itineraries and multi-currency credit cards

Once again, my inbox is overflowing with press releases and news from agencies representing destinations and travel operators from around the world. Here is a selection of some of the items that I thought were particularly interesting so read on:


The Kobo Aura H20 is the world’s first fully waterproof eReader.

At just 233 grams, it makes the perfect travel companion regardless of the destination as book lovers can read anywhere and anytime, with access to more than 4.9 million eBooks and magazines. The device also has a stunning HD display that showcases stories with crisp and clear clarity that reads just like paper.

The Kobo Aura H20 is available across Canada at Best Buy, Indigo, Chapter, Coles, London Drugs, Staples, The Source, Walmart and online at for an MSRP of $199.99.


The time to visit the High Arctic is now, with leading expedition cruise operator, One Ocean Expeditions.  OOE has packages to create a memorable summer holiday and with savings representing up to $2,400.00 US, the Arctic is suddenly an attainable getaway.

One Ocean Expeditions’ Arctic 2016 season introduces new cruise itineraries to the Northwest Passage.  Travellers with limited time can now join shorter Arctic voyages including the Northwest Passage.

The 7-night Wildlife Encounter voyage immerses travelers in abundant nature and wildlife, one of the biggest attractions to the north.

The 8-night Finding Franklin Expedition, departing on August 20, takes intrepid travelers back to the days of early polar explorers and the discovery of the Northwest Passage in the footsteps of British Explorer, Sir John Franklin.

One of One Ocean Expeditions most popular voyages is their 12-night Classic Northwest Passage, considered as the ultimate Arctic experience for people that have always dreamed of exploring this pristine destination.

The Arctic trip that surprises and touches travellers the most, for its raw beauty and haunting wildlife is the Baffin Island-Jewel of the High Arctic voyage.

OOE’s Canadian Arctic cruise prices start from US $5,195 per person for a 7-night voyage, ranging up to US $8, 895pp for a 12-night voyage, based on triple share.

For more information and departure dates, visit


Canadian travellers can soon reap the same benefits as their neighbours to the south, as the next generation of prepaid travel cards is preparing to launch north of the border.

Designed to put consumers in control of their travel money and make it easier to budget for the next trip, the MasterCard Multi-currency Cash Passport is one of several multi-currency cards that will soon be available in Canada.

With it, travellers feeling the pain of the Canadian dollar will be able to access up to seven different currencies for fuss-free destination hopping and shopping, and will also benefit from


The secret is out — the stunning beaches and azure seas featured in the all-new unscripted dating series Coupled is none other than the alluring Caribbean destination  of Anguilla.

The series, produced by Emmy Award winner Mark Burnett  premiered on May 17 on FOX.

Hosted by entertainment personality Terrence “J” Jenkins, COUPLED follows 12 single, smart and young professional women looking for love, who will meet face-to-face with eligible single men against the beautiful backdrop of the Caribbean island.

“The decision to make Anguilla the destination of choice for this major network television production represents a tremendous vote of confidence in our island,” said Anguilla’s Chief Minister, The Hon. Victor Banks.

Fans of the show are invited to follow COUPLED on Facebook Follow the series on Twitter @CoupledFOX and join the discussion using #Coupled. See photos and videos on Instagram @CoupledFOX.

For more information on Anguilla visit the official website of the Anguilla Tourist Board:


Summer has already started in Taiwan with the May 7, 2016 launch of the Fulong International Sand Sculpture Festival on Fulong Beach. Twenty four sculptors from 12 countries around the globe, including Canada, are showcasing their incredible works, heralding the start of the summer season in a festive event that blends art, architecture, music and more.

Now in its ninth year, the Fulong International Sand Sculpture Festival is renowned as the best sand-sculpting event in all of Taiwan.

Last year’s event broke world records with more than 300,000 travellers attending throughout the summer, and visitors of all ages are invited to join the festivities by creating their own artistic sculptures. Fulong International Sand Sculpture Festival is runs until July 10.

Located just 55 kilometer east of Taipei, Fulong is renowned for its diverse scenery and abundant outdoor activities within the Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area. Visitors can enjoy swimming, surfing and canoeing, while the nearby Longmen camping site and coastline biking trail attract outdoor enthusiasts from far and wide.